Unemployment Drops in Burnett and Polk Counties

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009 at 11:14 am

MADISON – Department of Workforce Development (DWD) Secretary Roberta Gassman today released April 2009 local unemployment rate estimates for Wisconsin cities, counties, and metropolitan areas.

Burnett County (State Rank: 8)

April Unemployment – 12.0%

March Unemployment – 13.2%

Polk County (State Rank: 14)

April Unemployment – 11.2%

March Unemployment – 12.5%

“While the April rates are lower in many areas, the global recession continues to take a toll on Wisconsin workers, their families and communities,” Secretary Gassman said.  “Under Governor Doyle’s leadership, we are using every available resource, starting with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, to help people find work, to provide employers with the skilled workers they need, and to get our economy moving forward.”


Unemployment rates decreased in each of the state’s 12 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) in April compared to March.  When compared to rates of April 2008, all 12 MSAs had higher unemployment rates last month. The Madison MSA had the lowest rate in April at 6 percent. The Janesville MSA recorded the highest rate at 12.9 percent.

Preliminary figures for nonfarm wage and salary jobs showed an increase in nine of the 11 reporting areas, and no change in figures in the remaining two areas. All 11 reporting areas had fewer jobs compared to employment totals for April 2008.


In April, unemployment rates decreased in 64 of 72 Wisconsin counties, increased in six, and remained the same in two. Dane County recorded the lowest rate at 5.6 percent, followed by Eau Claire at 6.5 percent and La Crosse at 6.6 percent. The highest rates were recorded in Rusk County at 14.6 percent, Iron County at 14 percent, and Menomonee County at 13.1 percent.

On an annual basis, unemployment rates increased in all 72 counties. The smallest increase occurred in Bayfield, which recorded a 2.7 percentage point increase. The biggest increase occurred in Rock County, where the unemployment rate increased 8.1 percentage points to 12.9 percent.

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